Karrie Higgins, a decorated writer on disability studies, has written the most beautiful book review essay on Katie Rose Guest Pryal’s latest release, LIFE OF THE MIND INTERRUPTED: ESSAYS ON MENTAL HEALTH AND DISABILITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION. (Buy Paperback. Buy eBook.)
An excerpt of the essay is below; click through to read the rest.
CW: mention of suicide, descriptions of ableism Last week, I was talking to a friend about dropping out of my PHD program before I even began. “Honestly, I think it’s the best thing,…
Last week, I was talking to a friend about dropping out of my PHD program before I even began. “Honestly, I think it’s the best thing,” I said. “I would probably be in bipolar crisis if I had done it.”
My friend nodded. She’s disabled, too. She gets it. We both earned Masters Degrees. We both got sick, faced hospitalizations, survived manic episodes and more — all while trying like hell to churn out good work and not scare off our classmates and professors.
When I said, “I would probably be in bipolar crisis,” I didn’t mean I couldn’t do a PHD program. I meant PHD culture is toxic to people with disabilities. Before I delayed my admission (and later dropped out), I had pursued accommodations for my assistantship. At one point, Human Resources point-blank asked me how I ever expected to work in academia given my limitations & needs. When I said I had no intention of ever pursuing a career in academia, they were relieved. “You are much more likely to get the accommodations that way,” I was told.
Which is why when I learned Dr. Katie Rose Guest Pryal had written Life of the Mind Interrupted: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education, I was ecstatic. …